Archive for November 3rd, 2009

November 3rd, 2009

If Carlsberg made toilets

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

One of my pet subjects is the problem of toilets. I don’t generally like them, which is a problem since we spend so much time in them, well I do, & not for anything nefarious either.

It’s not all toilets I dislike; I love my own one at home. I should do, I can spend days in there. I have a bookshelf with a selection  of reading material together with a stack of magazines on varying topics. I can well remember my father grabbing a handful of Sunday papers & disappearing into the bathroom for what seemed like eons. I am no different.

What bothers me about toilets that aren’t in my house is two-fold. Firstly, I don’t like laying my arse somewhere that a close family members’ backside hasn’t been & secondly, I hate the interminable problem of splashback, which you invariably get when using that god-awful invention, the public urinal.

So it was with a deep sense of surprise & contentment that I encountered a public urinal this week which suffered from none of the hazards of such systems.

The design was simple but very effective. Basically someone had taken a normal toilet bowl, miniaturised it & stuck it to a wall rather than the floor. It was small & round with little in the way of a back wall which is one of the main causes of the splashback phenomenon. The other main cause – a metal ‘drain cover’ had also been eliminated with just a mini toilet bowl affair with a small resevoir of water in the bottom. The third cause of splashback had also been removed. This is when the urinal decides to flush itself at seemingly completely random moments. You get a double whammy when the overhead tank decides to release its load just as you’re into mid flow. I defy anyone to pee against a waterfall & not get their trousers soaked when water meets water & then you have the added risk of flooding when a plug hole designed to take the average flow of liquid from a man’s willy suddenly has to deal with two or three times the water flow. Getting away with that situation requires slide-rule precision mathematics; you have to work out the willy to urinal flow, take into account the header tank to urinal flow, divide by the cubic capacity of the urinal drain hole & then adjust your shooting pressure such that the rapidly filling urinal doesn’t overflow It’s an art that few men triumph over especially after a couple of pints.

The porcelain art with which I had communed this week had solved this by having a willy sensor. Just over the bowl, which jutted out from the wall just under willy height (marvelous positioning less journey from willy to splash) was a small rectangular sensor. It senses when someone is standing in front of it & keeps the flush water shut off, as soon as you move away from the urinal the sensor knows you’ve gone & your business is concluded & then sends a mini flush which rinses away the pee & replenishes the receptacle with fresh water. No unannounced gushing causing extra splashbacks – genius.

I was so impressed with the system at one of our inner city tourist information centres, it has to have been designed by the boffins at Carlsberg.